Henderson Area Mazda Dealers Compare 2018 Mazda CX-9 vs 2018 Honda Pilot

If a family SUV that appeals to drivers sounds impossible, you probably haven’t met the 2018 Mazda CX-9. With ample space for the driver and passengers, this three-row crossover looks as good as it drives. Climb inside the CX-9 at a dealership like the Henderson Mazda dealer and you’ll be enveloped in an atmosphere of elegance that rivals some luxury SUVs.

The 2018 Honda Pilot is a popular family crossover. If you’re looking for a three-row family crossover, you may be wondering which vehicle is better, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 or the 2018 Honda Pilot. Read our head-to-head comparison review and discover which one comes out ahead.


Whether you buy a car or an SUV, you want a vehicle with an engine that’s powerful enough to provide acceleration for those times when you’re entering a freeway or for passing. The 2018 Mazda CX-9’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will get you where you’re going faster than the Honda Pilot’s powerplant. The CX-9’s engine generates 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. While the Honda Pilot’s 3.5-liter V6 produces 280 hp, it only develops 262 lb.-ft. of torque. This means the Pilot has 48 lb.-ft. less torque available to spin the wheels than the CX-9.

Fuel Economy

The Mazda CX-9 is more fuel-efficient than the Honda Pilot. The CX-9’s most fuel-efficient configuration is the front-wheel-drive model, which gets EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway. The best the Pilot gets is 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway when outfitted with its nine-speed automatic transmission.


Handling is one of the CX-9’s talents, thanks to Mazda’s G-Vectoring technology, which allows the CX-9 to carve curves effortlessly. Its athletic handling is also aided by tight steering and a well-tuned suspension. Unlike the Honda Pilot, the CX-9 feels solid and steady around turns. Consumer Reports wrote this about the Honda Pilot’s handling: “... compared to its peers, the Pilot feels every bit like the boat that it is. It doesn't take much for body lean to pile on. The steering is not very swift in response, and vague. All of that combines to make the Pilot very reluctant in the corners."


With a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, the CX-9 can pull more than twice as much weight as the Honda Pilot, which can only tow a maximum of 1,500 pounds.


The CX-9’s engine uses camshafts that are driven by a hardened steel chain. Consequently, there’s no maintenance needed. The Pilot utilizes camshafts driven by a rubber belt that needs to be replaced periodically. If this belt breaks, it could result in severe engine damage. According to a Consumer Reports study, Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Mazda rated four slots higher than Honda.

In the End

When you examine the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and the 2018 Honda Pilot closely, it’s easy to understand why the CX-9 easily emerges as the winner. The CX-9 has a better engine, higher fuel economy, superior handling and greater towing capacity than the Pilot.